The Grape Tray

January 10th 2020 Newsletter

92 Points - SF Int'l Wine Competition
2017 Roth Alexander Valley Cabernet

Winemaker Notes: Bold, full-bodied and rich. Mighty aromas of black cherry, cassis, wet stone and sweet oak. Rich, layered flavors of red currant, blackberry, dark chocolate and vanilla complement the firm tannins. Structured and powerful, this Cab lingers on the finish. $28 Our Price $20.99

2015 Skinner Smithereens GSM

Winemaker Notes: The 2015 Red Blend has red fruit aromatics like dark cherry, strawberry preserves, and dried cranberry, while subtle notes wild sage, fennel seed, and dirt road add nuance. The palate is medium bodied with a crunchy dose of minerality, subtle tannins and lingering acidity on the finish. Blend: 51% Grenache, 31% Mourvedre, 12% Syrah, 5% Cunoise. $24 Internet Price $11.99 Grape Tray email subscriber price $9.95

Wine Advocate 92
2016 Beau Vigne Russian River
Widow's Peak Pinot Noir

Medium ruby in the glass, the 2016 Pinot Noir Widow's Peak is scented of cranberry sauce, underbrush, black cherry jam, smoked meats, aniseed and dried tea leaves. The palate is medium-bodied and intense with fine, grainy tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long. 100 cases produced. $85 Internet Price $49.99 Grape Tray email subscriber price $30.95

2017 Austin Hope Reserve Cabernet

Winemaker Notes: The 2017 Austin Hope Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is an enticing dark crimson. Warm aromas of blueberries, roasted coffee, burnt toffee, cocoa and dried baking spices fill the glass. On the palate, layers of fine dusty tannins are met with earthy tones, toasted cloves, creamy vanilla and a touch of bright red fruit capped by an epic firm structure. $125 Our Price $108.99 (Arrives 1/14/20)

2017 Oberon Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: With a kiss of Syrah, a dash of Merlot he helped to create Oberon’s deep colors, supple silky tannins, and vibrant black cherry, candied blackberry and spices.A hint of coffee and dark chocolate create a lingering and delightful finish. $25 Our Price $19.95 (Arrives 1/14/20)

Vinous 92 Points
Lucienne 2017 Pinot Noir Doctor's Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands

Brilliant red. Intense, spice-accented black raspberry, cherry and licorice aromas are enlivened by a suggestion of smoky minerals. Juicy and focused on the palate, offering lively dark berry and bitter cherry flavors that slowly open up and become sweeter with air. Shows very good depth as well as energy and finishes smoky and quite long, with building florality and chewy tannins that build steadily. $50 Our Price $39.99

Wine Spectator 91
LANSON Brut Champagne Black Label NV

This creamy Champagne is bright and citrusy, offering an expressive and well-meshed mix of ripe blackberry, pastry dough and pickled ginger flavors. Racy finish. Disgorged October 2016. Drink now through 2021. 7,000 cases imported. –AN $45 Our Price $34.95

2018 Domaine Sorin Côtes de Provence Rose Terra Amata

Winemaker Notes: Grapes were hand-picked and selected. This is a very dry rose, strawberry and slightly under-ripe watermelon on the nose with more of that tart melon on the palate. Minerals show in the middle palate and the wine is so refreshing. 60% Grenache 30% Cinsault 10% Syrah. $15 Our Price $12.99 (Back in stock this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 93
GAMBLE FAMILY Sauvignon Blanc Yountville Gamble Vineyard 2018

Offers intriguing, distinctive notes of candied ginger and marmalade, with a whiff of beeswax up front, leading to a mouthwatering, fresh mix of Asian pear, white grapefruit and peach flavors. Appealingly precise, with deft acidity imparting focus. Refreshing finish. Drink now through 2029. 1,900 cases made. — MW $28 Our Price $22.95

Jeb Dunnuck 92-94 Points
2016 Alban Patrina Estate Syrah

The 2016 Patrina is another beautiful, elegant wine that has classic Alban depth and richness as well as notes of crème de cassis, smoked meats, iodine, and hints of bacon fat. Unfortunately, quantities are down 50% due to berry shrivel, yet the wine is a stunning, full-bodied, silky Syrah that will drink beautifully for a decade. Patrina is bacon, smoked meats, and deep fruit, all framed with what one can reasonably call the ‘Alban Style’. It’s dense, concentrated, dark, and long with restraint. 60% new French oak, 26 months program 100% Estate Syrah. $48

Wine Spectator 96, Top 100: 2019, Rank: 4
GROTH Cabernet Sauvignon
Oakville Reserve 2016

This delivers a very tightly focused, almost piercing beam of cassis, raspberry coulis and bitter cherry fruit, scored with singed alder and iron notes. Incense and tobacco details chime in on the finish. Long and refined, with the fruit leaving a sweet and mouthwatering echo. Best from 2022 through 2038. 4,800 cases made. — JM. $150 Our Price $124.95

Wine Enthusiast 92 Points
Shannon Ridge 2017 High Elevation Lake County Collection Petite Sirah

This full-bodied, full-flavored wine practically bursts with flavors of cocoa powder, blackberry and blueberry. It is dark, rich and concentrated, supported by a massive layer of fine-grained tannins but not so heavy that one couldn't drink it now with a nice, juicy cut of meat. Best after 2027. $23 Our Price $9.95 (Limited to 2 cases in stock)

Jeb Dunnuck 96-99 Points
2017 Bevan Cellars Ontogeny Oakville Proprietary Red

While the 2017 Ontogeny Red Wine is the least expensive wine in the lineup, it comes from all the single vineyards (not all of which were declassified), and in 2017, it doesn't give an inch with regard to quality. In fact, it might be my favorite barrel sample in the lineup. Awesome notes of blueberries, cranberries, blood orange, white flowers, and liquid violets all flow to a full-bodied 2017 that has purity, richness, balance, and length in spades. It's another sexy, straight-up heavenly wine from Russell Bevans that's guaranteed to put a smile on your face. $100 (Back in stock this afternoon)



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